Electric commercial vehicles, like Tesla's upcoming electric Semi, could see significant...

Electric commercial vehicles, like Tesla's upcoming electric Semi, could see significant increases in market share the next few decades, but conventional trucks will continue to play a major role in fleet, regardless of the latest craze, and shouldn’t be ignored

Photo via Tesla

Electric vehicles are all the rage today, with new electric trucks coming to market what seems like every week. Just to name a few, there is the new Volvo VNR, Fuso eCanter, Hino 195h diesel-electric hybrid or the Peterbilt Model 220EV. You can’t read the news without some mention of another all-new electric truck. Tesla is in on the electric trucking business and Ford just announced goals to electrify the F-Series. 

With the California Air Resource Board (CARB) heavily supporting the growth of electric trucks and the rest of the country slowly following their lead it’s obvious that electric trucks have their place and use. But, while the focus lately has been leaning hard toward electric, some amazing new conventional trucks are getting ignored and lost in the shuffle. 

In 2018, Ford officially announced its shift away from cars toward a greater focus on trucks. And in 2019, the automaker is bringing back the Ranger after eight years. Plus, a ton of new features have been added to the updated Super Duty lineup. And, that diesel F-150 on the market now is an absolute beast. 

After being revealed at the Work Truck Show 2018, the medium-duty Chevrolet Silverado lineup is hitting dealers this year and the Silverado 1500/GMC Sierra 1500 got a complete redesign. The Silverado 1500 was even named our own Fleet Truck of the Year. And you can’t forget the GMC Canyon, or the Chevy Colorado, which marked four years of sales last year.

The all-new 2019 Ram HD lineup gets a new 6.7L high-output Cummins engine with 400 horsepower and a whopping 1,000 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s loaded up with and features two new trims just for fleets. For bigger needs, they always have the Ram 2500HD and 3500HD as well as the Ram 3500, 4500, and 5500 Chassis Cab lineup. 

Hino has 12 truck models for 2019 and launched an all-new XL Series for the heavy-duty market. Cabovers continue their popularity with several models offered. Isuzu launched the Class 6 FTR and still offers a menu of lighter-duty gasoline and diesel models. Mitsubishi Fuso went to gasoline for the first time and debuted the Fuso FE Gas truck, which also has a diesel model.

International announced its all-new CV series, focusing on the Class 4-5 medium-duty vocational market. The truck is a result of a collaboration with General Motors. Freightliner continues to offer a few Class 6-8 vocational and Class 7-8 severe duty trucks. Kenworth is also a player in the medium-duty market with a number of Class 5-7 carryover conventional truck models.

Toyota’s still got the Tundra and Tacoma and Nissan continues to offer the Titan, Titan XD, and Frontier. Even Jeep is getting in on the pickup market with the launch of its 2020 Jeep Gladiator. 

While all-electric trucks have their clear benefits, they still have some hurdles. Meanwhile the engineers and designers in Detroit, Japan, and across the globe have developed some amazing trucks that you can buy today. They don’t refuel on sunshine and they don’t drive themselves, but they can do wonders for reducing your operating costs and keeping your drivers safe.

Conventional trucks will continue to play a major role in fleet, regardless of the latest craze, and shouldn’t be ignored.

If you disagree, let me know. 

About the author
Sherb Brown

Sherb Brown


Sherb Brown is the former president of Bobit Business Media. Sherb has covered the auto industry for more than 20 years in various positions with the world's largest fleet publisher.

View Bio